Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2022 Nov 14. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000003083. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is a common overuse injury associated with physical activity including walking. The risk for PFP may increase if walking biomechanics change during a bout of walking. Since walking for exercise is often recommended to previously sedentary adults, this would be a cause for concern. The purpose of this study was to determine any differences in walking biomechanics associated with PFP between sedentary and active young women initially and following 30 minutes of walking for exercise.
METHODS: Fifteen sedentary and 15 active young women walked overground for 5 trials of three-dimensional gait analysis before and after a 30-minute treadmill walk. Peak knee flexion angle and extensor moment were compared between groups and before and after the 30-minute walk.
RESULTS: Comparing groups at baseline, peak knee flexion angle and peak knee extensor moment were not statistically significantly different between groups. Following the 30-minute walk, peak knee flexion angle and extensor moment increased slightly in both groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Smaller, not larger, peak knee flexion angle and extensor moment during walking have been associated with increased risk of PFP. Therefore, sedentary and active young women can walk for 30 minutes without further detrimental changes to walking biomechanics that may increase their risk of PFP.